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К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2005

Автор: Бисалиева М.С.

The United States is the most popular destination for international students seeking to learn English or to improve their English skills. Education in the United States will almost certainly be different from the system offered in your native country. For international students, there are programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL). It is a program created for students who speak a language other than English at home.  Students work in small groups on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students may remain in the program as long as they want. However, there is a chance for students to enroll to the university after they finish all levels in such programs.

Why should people learn English language and why should they go abroad and study it there?

There are many facts you can find which help to persuade you that learning English is a good idea:

Millions of people around the world speak English.

Almost all international conferences and competitions are in English. For example, the Olympics and the Miss World contest.

Diplomats and politicians from different countries use English to communicate with each other. English is the main language of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association and so on.

Traveling can be very easy. Communicate with people wherever you go - English is spoken in more than 100 countries. Who knows, maybe English will save your life someday!

English is the language of technology, especially high technology like computer science, genetics, and medicine. If you're going to read about technology, you'll probably have to do it in English.

International business is done in English. In addition, all business today is international. Therefore, if you want to play, you have to know English - to contact other businesspeople, go to conferences, read international business newspapers and magazines, and etc.

Most computer applications are in English, so you will understand them better - and become a better employee.

I can list many facts but I think those that are written above are the main ones.

The result is that more and more every day, people expect you to know some English, and it's not only English speaking people who expect it - another fact often given is that 80% of the English used in the world is used between non-native speakers.

In short, it became the main way you get around, the main way you get things done, the way you make friends, the way you do business with a foreign country, the way you get information. So even when you have some English, it is a good idea to try and get more: learning English is one activity where you can be sure you will never be wasting your time.

Why is it necessary to go to an English speaking country? Of course, it is not 100% necessary, but it is very useful and practical. The only way to really learn a language is to practice by speaking it all the time. The reason is clear. For example, you have an English class at school or university perhaps three-four hours a day or maybe even less.  At all other times - evening, weekends, and even breaks in school or university - you are with people who speak your own first language, and not English.  Therefore, you don't use English all your time. But in an English-speaking country you might say just a few words in your own language to a friend sometimes, but apart from that you would use (not only speak, but hear or read) English for 100% of your time. So just because you study English at school doesn't mean you can't learn outside of class. Therefore, the absolute best way to learn English is to surround you with it.

Learning to speak English well may be the best thing you can do to improve your life. Don't you think that it might be fun to have access to information that other people can't get? Talk and write letters to interesting people that others can't communicate with? Impress people around you whenever you opened your mouth? Make big jumps in your career, leaving others miles behind? You can get this entire if you speak English well.

Are you interested in Today's media - such as the Internet, television, and the press that give us almost unlimited access to knowledge. After all, we live in the information age, don't we? And there's only one problem. Most of this knowledge is in English.

Many people in the world learn English. But the best way to learn English is to go to England, U.S.A. or Canada and live with family that doesn't know your own language.

English may bring you good feelings and make you thankful and happy. For example, you're at an international airport. You walk quickly, and you look confident. You understand all the signs around you, you understand the announcements. You know that if there were any problems you could easily communicate with the airport's staff in their own language. You walk to your gate, thinking how much more difficult it would be if you didn't know English. Or imagine you can talk to native speakers just like you talk in your first language. Imagine other people wanting to speak English as well as you do. Imagine the possibility of writing e-mails to people from all over the world.

So if you really want to know English there are many English language programs in the U.S.A., England and Canada. But let me introduce you one of that kind of programs in the U.S.A. In February 2004 the Kazakh-American Free University signed the agreement with an American organization "American Cultural Exchange". For over 30 years, American Cultural Exchange has been a leader in intensive English language instruction. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to international education. They are proud of helping tens of thousands of students from around the world achieve their dreams while studying at their Language Institutes. American Cultural Exchange offers a variety of ESL programs.

What is American Cultural Exchange? It was found in 1973. They teach English to International students at their Language Institutes at universities and colleges. They have many short summer and winter programs for international children. They teach other languages to American students and international students. They do special trainings in many countries. They do their best to help those with disabilities and those with little money. They work to bring different kinds of people together to improve the world.

Why should you study English at an American Cultural Exchange Language Institutes?

- they can help you reach your academic and career goals;

- you may apply to their Partner Colleges and Universities directly with no TOEFL;

- since it is a on-profit organization their number one goal is to provide you with the best programs and the best education;

- at American Cultural Exchange you will get more attention, more help, more individual guidance and find more friendly teachers and staff than at other English Language schools;

- their classes are often smaller than other English programs an average of 12 students per class;

- each of their Language Institutes is different! There is one that is right for you;

- their teachers have great experience in teaching English;

- their teachers and stuff respect and understand cultures and religions;

- most of their teachers have lived in other countries and speak other languages;

- their classes have students from many different countries;

- they see their students as friends not just clients;

- they have the best activities and all classes have field trips;

- they help you any questions regarding your visa or I-20;

- if you have any cultural problems or become homesick, they help you;

- if you want to go somewhere or learn something special, they advise you

American Cultural Exchange Language Institutes are all located in Northwest of USA in Washington State. The Northwest part of the USA is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are many mountains, lovely beaches, many forests, and wonderful lakes and rivers. Outdoor sports like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, sailing, horseback riding, fishing, mountain climbing, river rafting, swimming, and hiking are very popular and easy to do there. That area of the U.S.A. is very open, modern, clean and safe, there is very little crime. Each of their Institutes is close to famous places to visit such as: Yellowstone Park, Vancouver, Canada and the Olympic Rainforest!

Language Institutes are in Montana State Bozeman, in Seattle State Washington, in Tacoma (South of Seattle) State Washington, in Mount Vernon State Washington.

American Cultural Exchange Language Institute at Montana State University is located in Bozeman, Montana, a university town in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. In the summer, students enjoy hiking, canoeing, fishing, white water rafting, and visits to Yellowstone National Park. In the winter, students often spend free time skiing or snowboarding at resorts just 30 minutes from town. Students may choose to live with a host family or in a campus dorm.

American Cultural Exchange Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University is located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The campus is located in a safe residential neighborhood, just a few minutes North of downtown Seattle. Seattle is famous for its high-tech industries, music scene, coffee shops, and shopping districts. Seattle Pacific University is a small private university with an active campus life. Students are involved in many sports and clubs. Students may choose to live with a host family or in campus dorms when available.

American Cultural Exchange Language Institute at Pacific Lutheran University is located less than an hour South of Seattle in Tacoma, Washington. Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is a private university that is well-known for its schools of Business, Education, and Nursing, and for its programs in Music, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, and Pre-Law. At PLU, international students are encouraged to participate in campus activities and many students volunteer in the local community. Students may choose to live with a host family or in campus dorms.

American Cultural Exchange Language Institute at Skagit Valley College is located between Seattle, Washington, USA and Vancouver, Canada. The area is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. The college campus has a family-like atmosphere where everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. Students may choose to live with a host family or in campus apartment.

At the beginning of each program, all students take a placement test so they can start their studies at the appropriate level. Some students will progress quickly, while others may take longer to develop the necessary skills. Each level is one session which is 5 weeks. Progress from one level to the next depends on the abilities of the individual student as well as on his or her existing English language skills.

Programs at American Culture Exchange Language Institutes:

1.    Intensive English Programs - study academic English and gain admission to a college or university in the U.S.A.

2.    Flex Programs - improve your English with classroom study + personal one to one tutoring

3.    Vacation programs - combination of classroom with cultural activities.

All on-campus programs include:

- 6-level program aimed at university/college admission;

- Study grammar, reading, writing, speaking/listening;

- 20 hours of intensive English classes per week +;

- 4-10 hours of elective classes per week;

- Weekly social activities and trips;

- Internet and computer access;

- Access to library, health center, gym, and other campus facilities;

- Live with a host family or in a campus dorm.

Flex Programs:

- Study 10 hours/week in the Intensive English Program and spend your remaining time focusing on English communication;

- Spend 5 hours/week in a conversation group AND 5 hours/week with your own personal tutor;

- Part-Time and Short-Term Flex Programs are also available.

Vacation Programs:

- Vacation Programs are 15 hours/week English study + daily activities + home stay;

- Summer Programs include Jr. Institute (ages 10-17) and Intercultural Institute (ages 16+);

- Winter Ski Program in Montana;

- Custom Programs at any time.

American Cultural Exchange can help you to go to a college or university in the U.S.A. Most of their students go on to a college or university with their help. They help to find and apply to an institute, college or university you choose. Every American Culture Exchange Institute has an Academic advisor who is there to help you to choose the right place to study. They are ready to give right documents and help with the application process to transfer to university you choose. Their programs as well include "university preparation" courses to teach you what you need to know so you will do well. Most of their Language Institutes have special TOEFL and TOEIC classes at no additional cost.

In June 2004 a group of 10 students participated in American Cultural Exchange Language Institute's Flex program at Seattle Pacific University. The group consisted of Kazakh-American Free University's students and high school students. Here are some of their impressions:

"I can't believe that I was able to see the oceans' gulf. My parents dreamed about seeing the ocean, so they were happy that their child could see it instead of them."

"It was so interesting that people around me talked only in English. My English was not so good compared to other students in our group, so it was hard to adapt to English environment. At the beginning it was even hard to understand my family, but day after day and after having everyday classes I started to understand my family and people around me. I wish I could stay there longer and learn more."

"I met a lot friend and we still stay in touch through e-mails. Hope someday I will see them again."

"My English had absolutely improved in spite of being there for such a short time"

"I realized that learning English in the United States is really useful and practical. You can't compare it with the English classes at the school. I liked it when we played different games during the grammar classes. Their classes are not so boring that is why I had an interest and desire to learn."

Going to the United States of America gives an exciting opportunity to study and improve English, learn about American customs and culture and meet new friends. Day by day English language becomes an important component of environment something that you have to learn in order to survive, or at least in order to be successful. So practice and learn English with Americans at American Culture Exchange!

К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2005

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